Finger Lakes MBCA 2012 Annual Meeting

The conservatory at Belhurst Castle in Geneva was the perfect setting for the Annual Meeting of the Finger Lakes Section and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the club’s charter. Twenty two members joined together to discuss club business, plan events for the coming year with new ideas and commitments before enjoying luncheon and a special cake celebrating the forty years the Finger Lakes Section has existed. Present were: Red Kozinski and Nelly Burke, Mel and Alice Dillon, Howard Steiner and Carolyn Foote, Bob and Kathy Harradine, Menzer and Rena Dowd, Don and Betsy Klug, Don and Sally McFarland, John Lamb and Vickie Patridge, Noal White, Dave Kliment and Gillian Lynn, new member Reinhard Thieben, Bob and Judy Handzo.

The meeting was called to order at 2:00PM. Howard Steiner read the proposed slate for 2013: President; Bob Handzo: Vice-President; Don Klug: Secretary/Treasurer; Judy Handzo. There were no additional nominations from the floor, voting was conducted and the slate passed unanimously. Bob thanked Michael Carroll, former Vice-President for his past services to the club. Board appointees are Vickie Patridge, Newsletter Editor and Dave Kliment, Website Coordinator.

Vickie Patridge volunteered at last year’s Annual Meeting to restart the club’s newsletter TRI-STAR. She devoted many hours on each of the 2012 quarterly issues printed and mailed to members, advertisers, placed at Mercedes-Benz of Rochester and given to anyone with an interest in joining. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and Vickie received the award as our 2012 Member of the Year with a permanent plaque from National and a huge arrangement of flowers from a very grateful Section.

Dave Kliment increased the presence of the club with a redesigned website adding new topic headings, photos and articles from events, information on upcoming events, a classified section and a column for our advertisers with direct connections to their own websites. He also introduced a popular and well used Facebook page. Dave appealed for personal stories and photos for inclusion and feedback and suggestions from members to continually better our web page.

We added three advertisers to help with the expenses of the newsletter and website in 2012. Mercedes-Benz of Rochester is prominently featured on the back cover our newsletter, Dunn Tire, with stores from Buffalo to Syracuse and northern Pennsylvania, has taken a full inside page and offers member discounts since we are considered “Preferred Customers”. Ding Doctor of Rochester has an inside half page. There are several other companies who have expressed interest in joining our advertisers list for 2013. Members are encouraged to patronize these establishments that are so important to us.

National awards anniversary pins, presented by the Sections, to long standing members on culminated five year anniversaries. This year none of the members achieving this award were present at the meeting but there are ten pins that will be mailed with a congratulatory letter to: Steven Kates, 10 years; John Sheldon and George Wladis, 15 years; William Barrett and Bruce Townson, 20 years; Gary German, Christopher Williams and George Howell, 25 years; Jim Sydor, 30 years and Joe Wahl, an astounding 35 years.

Since we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary on December 17th 2012 Bob read some of the history of the founding of the Finger Lakes Section (there is a full history of the club available on the website). We have greatly changed since 1972 when governed by a majority of members living in Buffalo. They subsequently formed the Niagara Section which appealed to the western counties and the Finger Lakes remained the choice of M-B owners residing in the central New York counties. Currently the greatest percentage of members live in the Rochester area but the Section is growing East and South. The delicious celebratory cake was enjoyed for dessert.

Please see the separate article concerning the 2013 tentative calendar. This discussion took up a majority of the meeting time with lively debate and suggestions.

Bob brought up the subject of the Section having its’ own embroidered shirts. Collared golf shirts seemed to be the most popular style. He will do more research on pricing and quality and have them available to members in the spring. If they prove popular other styles can be added.

Bob brought a table load of older Mercedes literature produced for press releases and offered it to any of the members who would enjoy taking it home. Some is still available, if you’d like to see these beautifully printed catalogs and take them home please let him know and he’ll have them at the February gathering.

Toward the end of the successful meeting/luncheon Gillian handed out raffle tickets to everyone and passed the basket around for members to draw a ticket belonging to the lucky member who then had to dive into the prize bag without looking at the goodies inside. The “goodies” included hand-outs from local car dealerships, hats left from the ’08 National Board Meeting when Finger Lakes was the host Section, such treasures as key fobs, recruitment CDs and other like valuables. The overload of “gifts” inherited through the years from previous Club Boards is gone thus leaving the prize box empty and waiting to be refilled for the ’13 Annual Meeting with a much better selection!

Meeting concluded by 5:00 PM.

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